Road Trip Essentials

Craig and I are gearing up for a cross-country road trip. We have the opportunity to leisurely spend a month in Florida over the holidays to be close to our families – and we jumped on it! After a season that included lots of airports + airplanes, we are both very much looking forward to the slower pace that driving allows when traveling to a destination. As we spend the week prepping and laying stuff out for our trip, I thought I’d share some of the road trip essentials that make the drive more enjoyable…and that will no doubt be in the easy-to-grab bag in the backseat.

Road Tripping to Craig’s hometown – Elkhart, Indiana (July 2021)

Music. A good playlist is KEY! And better than an existing playlist is making one up along the way. Craig and I like to play a game we call “Total Request Live (TRL).” (If you remember the MTV show that is it’s namesake – it might be time for an eye cream 😉 lol). I digress…in order to play TRL, we hook a cell phone up to the car’s bluetooth and open up a music playing app (it’s Spotify for us – you can follow along here). Craig and I will then take turns “requesting” the next song. The song currently playing usually inspires the selection for the next one. It makes for some great entertainment and an easy way to spend a few hours (especially because whoever is driving has no idea what the DJ picks for their songs until they are actually played.) Bonus points for singing and dancing are always encouraged.

Snacks. I’m a sucker for some good snacks. I personally love being unsupervised and grabbing everything my heart desires at the convenience store. HOWEVER, in an effort to remain somewhat healthy (and fiscally responsible), we tend to pack our own snacks. Besides limiting the need to stop, it also tides us over when traveling through rural areas or until we have time to stop for something more substantial. Some of my faves:

  • Kirkland brand Protein Bars
  • Hippeas (pro tip: grab the 18oz. bag from Costco!)
  • Beef Jerky
  • Fruit snacks
  • And any leftover fruit or other foods that’ll go bad before we get home (usually apples, clementines, and guacamole!)

We’ll also pack a little cooler with us to bring some sparkling water and to store any foods that require refrigeration.

e-Reader. This one-stop-shop is a gem! It is light and compact and takes the place of all the books I’d have to bring in it’s place. By paring down and just bringing this guy, I save lots of room in my bag for other things (like extra snacks). PLUS, if I finish a book, I can just download another!

Card deck. Being on the open road allows lots of space and time for connectivity. We have two card decks that we like to go through. One is from the Gottman Institute (linked here) and the other is the original deck from Table Topics (linked here). Each card asks thought-provoking questions that encourage conversation. We always learn something new about each other and it’s a great way to pass the time.

Hydration. Hydration is key! Despite more frequent bathroom stops, just do it. Staying hydrated improves mood, energy, and digestion. It also keeps that evening cocktail from turning into a massive headache the next morning – which just puts a damper on the whole day when you’re trying to explore a new destination or just make the most of the day if you’re still driving. I like to add chlorophyll drops to my water for an added boost of self care. Chlorophyll is detoxifying, great for digestion, and an incredible source of energy. I like the Sunshine Drops from Philosophie (which you can find here.)

It’s not the destination; it’s the journey.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Are you taking any road trips for the holidays or in the coming months? I’d love to hear your packing essentials and pro-tips. Please let me know in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “Road Trip Essentials

  1. I always travel with a lap board (not sure if that is the right name), but it keeps my books a little higher to help my neck and if I am cutting snacks, I have a nice sturdy tray to cut on. Make sure you take a sharp knife. Oh, an a lap blanket. I always am cold. And lots of napkins. We go through tons of them on the trip. Cheese and crackers are a good snack too. We usually do snacks for lunch so we can just keep going. If I remember correctly, Craig likes to eat while riding. Assume driving will be the same way. Safe travels.

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